Distribution Automatique

Saturday, March 6

Notebook: Circa, late 1986

To present the raw coal to
take in, burn , and finally bring
to a red- hot state, to
present the substance in its
various states of polish,
from unpolished mineral to the
finest faceted stone, these
are the essences of the results
of presented form. So my
choice is to present the coal, for
we are now all miners of the
unknown regions, and the time is less
one to bedrock ourselves in
finery, but to burn through to the core
within which lies the substance
of still greater forms of energy. To
bring together our combined
essences must be the goal of
poetics, for this project if
it is to have a goal, it must be re
readjust the lines of the mind itself.

Thus it is that poetics came to be the
center of poetry's white heat,
not because it
offered the greatest promise
of new and better products-
we've all listened to
Ron Sillman's views on this,
who has shown us the
futility of seeking paradise there-
the fact is, poetry, and therefore
the profession of poet has, like so
many others, been sent packing to
the back laboratories- and the majority
have selected this humble position,
indentifying with the potential for
authenticity in these quiet and unequivocal
surroundings- does not at all
detract from the fates of these who have
chosen to publicize their "findings"-
for the best of those who have
embraced that role have recognized
the provisional nature of their "results"
as well, knowing well that a billion
successful poems could not make up
for one minute of the lives of the billions
still *suppressed*, and all the rest
*repressed*, or the millions dead
in our own beloved century,
by the unaccountable
primitive tidal pull towards power
struggle and death- also
at the glowing core of
our deepest energies.

But we did not find such unalloyed
conditions of authenticity in our laboratories,
in our untested state of reflexivity
and exploration of the products of the thought
process because these products defy
ownership in the same way that we cannot
own ourselves when the divided nature
of our identities hold a sense of wholeness
ever out in front.

The poems cannot be ours as long
they must continue to be ransacked for the
buried treasure that loses currency
before its distributed. The shall game of
power is none other than the matching
shell game of selves. As fast as we
stitch them to keep up
with the shifting conditions of the games,
of recognition of the continuity of dailiness.
As quickly as we might
examine a poem's
existence by its objective value as a poem,
just as instantly do we search the entire context
of its existance, including the most private
aspect of its very atmosphere-
the self of the poet-
also as simultaneously consumed
for its promise of breaking down
the margins between the public fact
of the poem's existence, and the relative public
skepticism about the possibility of such a person
having any consistency of relavance
to him or her.

Under such conditions, it seems to me
one of the most attractive positions
must be to embrace this secrecy and to, more or less
permantently lock the gates between the front stage
until a better distribution is possible, until the relative
positions have changed, possible as one
result of a change in power conditions.
One would not be hoping for an accord
to be reached between poets in this way,
but a growing mutual recognition that what is
shared between poets is not truly
shareable between the reader and the poem.
The sutation is truly fragmented and
the conditions are severe.The poet's quest
for authenticity has actually become
more dangerous, however, the risk inherent
in marginality. On the other hand,
it is a little more subtle to see the direct
relationship between this emergence and
actual satisfaction.